By any measure, 2018 was a year of community and economic development success in the City of Cincinnati. New job creation, diverse housing opportunities, and exciting real estate development projects continue to move forward and accelerate.
As the City Manager and elected officials work through difficult budget decisions, the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) has risen to the challenge of delivering higher levels of service with greater efficiency. In the face of this challenge, our work is better and more rewarding than ever.
Our Department has made it easier to invest in the City while bringing consistency, predictability, and a comprehensive approach to the use of incentives.
Behind the scenes, we’ve been overhauling and modernizing the Department with new approaches to legal compliance, lease monitoring, and our role as a good steward of Federal funds. We’re continuing our efforts to increase public data availability and transparency.
In 2018, DCED tripled our property disposition efforts with more than a dozen solicitations for vacant, blighted, and under-utilized City-owned property. This acceleration has reduced tax, legal, and budget liabilities to the City. With an understanding of the connection between land use policy and economic development outcomes, we successfully advocated eliminating parking requirements for development in the urban core, further lowering obstacles to density and affordability.
Lastly, our parking system has balanced increased revenue projections with the implementation of higher meter rates while decreasing meter down-time. Smart, effective implementation of multi-space meters and higher utilization of pay-by-cell technology solidified our parking system as the foundation of healthy economic activity.
DCED’s staff is an incredible group of dedicated professionals. They come to work every day focused on making each of the City’s neighborhoods economically healthy places of opportunity. For every property sale, job creation agreement, or development project approved by City Council, there are hundreds of hours of advocacy, underwriting, technical facilitation, and plain-old hard work to make sure those opportunities become reality. I look forward to seeing what we accomplish in 2019!